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This 35 message thread spans 2 pages: 35 ( [1] 2 > >     
Banned over 7-year-old deleted ad that sent one click.
luke175

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4290549 posted 5:23 am on Apr 1, 2011 (gmt 0)

So after weeks I've finally received the reason why my account was suspended.

I've had the account for 11 years with a six-figure spend.

In 2004 I created one campaign for a health-related ad for a BOOK.

I sent ONE click to this site, but deleted it shortly after as it was not generating any traffic.

Then, in 2011 they banned me for that one click to a site that I have no control over...and are telling me they will only reinstate my account if I change this site (which I don't own!)

So...
1. Create ad while Google allows it
2. Delete said ad
3. 7 years later get banned

That's pretty much it.

 

mrguy

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4290549 posted 2:41 pm on Apr 1, 2011 (gmt 0)

Yup!

That's pretty much Google Adwords in a nutshell.

g1smd

WebmasterWorld Senior Member g1smd us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4290549 posted 12:57 am on Apr 2, 2011 (gmt 0)

That's insane.

DanAbbamont



 
Msg#: 4290549 posted 1:58 am on Apr 6, 2011 (gmt 0)

Wow that's awful. Have you had any real human contact over this issue? It can be a pain to get attention but when you do they're actually pretty reasonable. The support forums can be a good place to start.

luke175

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4290549 posted 2:25 am on Apr 6, 2011 (gmt 0)

Wow that's awful. Have you had any real human contact over this issue? It can be a pain to get attention but when you do they're actually pretty reasonable. The support forums can be a good place to start.


Yes, I have talked to their support via email. I also posted on the forums.

In short, I was told that it's not an error. If an account has ANY history of advertising sites they deem to have violations then the account will not be rereviewed unless the site in question is changed.

The problem is obvious.

I don't own the site, I can't change it. The violation occurred in 2011, I advertised the domain in 2004. e.g. if you run a totally wonderful business that is later sold to another person who changes the site into something that is in violation- you will be RETROACTIVELY punished.

It would actually be more like predicting the future to understand what you can and can't do.

I'm retroactively being punished for something that was legal 7 years ago. Their "solution" is equivalent to time-travel.

Their support is unbelievably awful. I can't understand why Google would throw away an account worth six-figures over what amounts to a technical glitch. Not to mention it can be weeks between responses.

Furthermore, a "violation" can be something completely benign. Some of the things I'm seeing are insane. Google is letting their lowest level of support comb through websites and make complex decisions about what is appropriate in billion dollar industries. Meanwhile some of the scammiest landing pages have been flying high for months without any apparent repercussions.

This also speaks to a larger issue where Google actually believes that they can enforce what actually occurs OFF their network, and not just ads run on it. If an ad is deleted, what right do they have to tell someone to change a 7-year-old site...especially one they don't own?

But for now, they are sleeping on piles of money, so they don't seem to care.

micklearn

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4290549 posted 2:49 am on Apr 6, 2011 (gmt 0)

@luke175

Not sure if it will help in your case, but have you seen the new phone support they're offering: [webmasterworld.com...]

J_RaD

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4290549 posted 3:41 am on Apr 19, 2011 (gmt 0)

yea so you know that thing about goog where they never actually delete anything you delete and really just keep it forever? yea thats not so good.

now have fun trying to jump thru all the flaming hoops if you ever hope to get your account back, or even a new one.

its not worth the hassle when you've got bing/yahoo right across the street. run, run fast.

shazam



 
Msg#: 4290549 posted 2:51 pm on Apr 19, 2011 (gmt 0)

Don't be evil.

RhinoFish

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4290549 posted 3:16 pm on Apr 19, 2011 (gmt 0)

G, when domains change hands, new people can use password recovery, please let us close accounts permanently.

luke175, thanks for sharing your story. i wish we could all hear it discussed by both parties. i'm not calling anyone a liar or truth twister, but life has taught me to be cautious in drawing conclusions when I hear just one side of any story.

G, to dispel our fears, please consider more outreach, we'd all like to know more details. reputation management is something we all struggle with, and you favor advertisers with engaging reviews, a social presence and transparency... personally, i agree with that stance, and encourage a deeper adoption of it, on your part.

luke175

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4290549 posted 8:31 pm on Apr 20, 2011 (gmt 0)

Here it is straight from Google (no, this is not me):

[google.com...]

[google.com...]

Clearly the Adword's support is stating that even if a site is not owned by the advertiser there is nothing they will do.

If Google simply wants to disallow advertising of a certain site, they can easily do that. What purpose would it serve to have someone try to "fix" something based on a policy they enforced retroactively?

J_RaD

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4290549 posted 11:44 pm on Apr 20, 2011 (gmt 0)


uke175, thanks for sharing your story. i wish we could all hear it discussed by both parties. i'm not calling anyone a liar or truth twister, but life has taught me to be cautious in drawing conclusions when I hear just one side of any story.


oh no, his story is true, i've been on that end of G's stick more then once...and thats exactly how it goes down. Those people at the plex have drank to much of their own kool-aid.

J_RaD

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4290549 posted 11:50 pm on Apr 20, 2011 (gmt 0)

luke - yea i checked some other pages you posted on about this and followed your goog links to the pages and pages of places where this seems to be happening to 1,000's of people. All i can say is holy moly goog will end up running off 90% of its advertisers sooner or later! I've even spent 6 figures with those suckers and they kick me to the curb and tell me don't come back and if we catch you trying to come back you won't get very far!

Looks like they treat everyone the same scummy way! booo goog! you suck.

Also don't ever log back into a banned account, they keep your IP and whatever IP logs into it. If you log into a banned account then log into a good account....there is a good chance your good account will suddenly start having these "issues".

g1smd

WebmasterWorld Senior Member g1smd us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4290549 posted 12:01 am on Apr 21, 2011 (gmt 0)

If they get 90% of their revenue from 10% of the accounts, perhaps they are quite happy to give the other 90% the run around in the hope they will go away?

ron15



 
Msg#: 4290549 posted 1:43 am on Apr 21, 2011 (gmt 0)

Clearly the Adword's support is stating that even if a site is not owned by the advertiser there is nothing they will do.

If Google simply wants to disallow advertising of a certain site, they can easily do that. What purpose would it serve to have someone try to "fix" something based on a policy they enforced retroactively?


I gather the following conclusions from reading this thread.

1) Google does not have the ability to determine site ownership, nor do you have the ability to prove the absence of ownership. It seems that if they could determine ownership, their decision workflow would offer a remedy. Even if they can see hidden whois information, that is notoriously inaccurate and doubtful if they would take it at face value.

2) Based on number 1, they made a cost based analysis to set forth rules for low level Adwords support people to adhere to. Stringent rules in that, they are likely forbidden the privilege to escalate within the organization if certain criteria is met, such as showing an account linked at some point with a domain they weigh in violation of their policies. I suspect it is 100% out of their hands. The decision was made in a workflow on a higher floor within the department.

3) As obviously flawed as it seems, and more so to a person such as yourself that beared the brunt of it. It is likely indicative of other flawed approaches that Google is taking with respects to Panda and how they feel about their customers as a whole. They probably factored in the cost savings of not putting in place a second tier manual evaluation and escalation review. Over a large number of violations, that probably is a cost savings even with losing a six figure account. After all, Google is notorious at crunching and analyzing. The decision workflow that stung you is likely a result of that.

4) I could extrapolate that Google views each and every customer and visitor as a number molded into their bottom line, and fit to crush if a deviation within their calculations unluckily lands in their lap. But I think we all know that by now.

Sorry for your loss.

briggidere

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4290549 posted 1:55 am on Apr 21, 2011 (gmt 0)

I think it's time to go out and start buying competitors old domains, sticking dodgy content on them and use an alternate adwords account to get raise the flags and get their accounts banned.

Thanks for the advice AdWords reps.

It's such a silly scenario it nearly unbelievable.

Leosghost

WebmasterWorld Senior Member leosghost us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4290549 posted 3:05 am on Apr 21, 2011 (gmt 0)

Drop catchers will be kept busier than usual by blackhats ..

not saying or even insinuating you are or might be briggidere :)..you are just the first in thread to voice the potential for damage ..G need to fix this ..if a 7 figure account gets hit ..say GM..even if it is fixed fast ..do manufacturers watch over all their old domain names ..even those of discontinued models ..probably not..if it gets out to "mainstream" media .. how this can be manipulated or how it is being applied G will look really dumb.."adwords account bowling"

briggidere

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4290549 posted 4:01 am on Apr 21, 2011 (gmt 0)

I am not into playing those sorts of games Leosghost but it just seems like such a stupid level of enforcement with no appeal process.

What about the affiliate advertisers who would have hundreds if not thousands of third party domains in old and deleted ads? How can something like that be controlled?

RhinoFish

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4290549 posted 4:24 pm on Apr 21, 2011 (gmt 0)

luke175, thanks for the links, i now feel i have heard the other side of the story, and it truly stinks.

thinking about this scares me - as the years pass, in addition to the things that i did associate myself with, i will be forever connected to things i decided to not participate in (i fired a web dev client last month when i discovered they were spamming and refused to stop)... things that will change over time... people that will change over time... rules that will change over time...

my past is on me, but the future of those in my past is not.

G, think about it, if people know they can avoid future repercussions, they'll leave bad actors out of self interest - you want that. the way you're doing things, you are encouraging people to hide and disguise themselves, to disown their past solely for the fear of where it lead tangentially without them... very unGoogle of you.

J_RaD

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4290549 posted 4:25 pm on Apr 21, 2011 (gmt 0)


What about the affiliate advertisers who would have hundreds if not thousands of third party domains in old and deleted ads? How can something like that be controlled?


thats easy, aff's have long been banned from adwords. If i remember that cleansing happend around 08/09

luke175

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4290549 posted 5:34 pm on Apr 21, 2011 (gmt 0)

My take is that Google is applying the 80/20 rule to Adwords. Or more accurately it's probably something like the 99.9/.1 rule in their case.

They realize that most of their profits are coming from the big accounts and they frankly would rather just ban the small accounts. Of course, that would cause a stir.

So they basically let small accounts use the system as long as those advertisers are fortunate enough to not trigger some hidden infraction. If they do, well, too bad.

It's all about having plausible reasons to ban as many small accounts as possible. There's no world where retroactive regulations make sense if you're really trying to not be "evil".

I'm seeing new accounts getting banned for life in under 24 hours for advertising brick & mortar small businesses. Or they just get dropped into perpetual "waiting approval" states for weeks and months.

And then there's the "associated accounts" ban. I've seen reports this has been triggered by using wireless at coffee shops, library computers, etc. because for example, a previously banned advertiser may have logged into Gmail on those same IPs. These people are then banned without any recourse.

Google simply does not care. They seem to feel that their results are best filled with their own properties and Fortune 500 brands.

If you're a little guy, keep your head down. And pray.

J_RaD

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4290549 posted 8:08 pm on Apr 21, 2011 (gmt 0)


I'm seeing new accounts getting banned for life in under 24 hours for advertising brick & mortar small businesses. Or they just get dropped into perpetual "waiting approval" states for weeks and months.


same here.


what about goog certified adwords people? is goog slapping them around just as hard?


If you're a little guy, keep your head down. And pray.

no, just go to bing/yahoo


And then there's the "associated accounts" ban. I've seen reports this has been triggered by using wireless at coffee shops, library computers, etc. because for example, a previously banned advertiser may have logged into Gmail on those same IPs. These people are then banned without any recourse.

yea just imagine if you are a small agency managing many accounts, one gets tagged and uh oh you can't touch any of those other accounts or POOF now all of your customers are banned from adwords.

RhinoFish

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4290549 posted 4:15 pm on Apr 22, 2011 (gmt 0)

i disagree with them not caring about little guys - they're public, they have high pressure to get companies of every size into the auction to earn max profits.

as someone who runs ppc for many small companies, G is a great opportunity for the little guy to compete with the big boys - that wouldn't be true if they didn't "care" about businesses of all sizes. honestly, i think they care about the user most - so they don't really care about the little guy - OR the big guy. they care about advertisers that please their users, no matter their size.

i think they just have a huge policing task that they can't automate algorithmically very well - that same profit factor above drives this too, they can't take the time to investigate every person's history, so they've decided a level of collateral damage that they can automate to a degree. in the end, collectively, we're to blame - too many scumbags amongst us all makes it impossible to have policing that's both fair and cost effective.

G does need an ombudsman or appeals process where those damaged collaterally can get fixed up. the people there at G are smarties - give them some leeway to restore people. bad actors will get caught again quickly, good actors won't.

La_Valette

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4290549 posted 8:40 pm on Apr 26, 2011 (gmt 0)

I think a better way of doing this would be to simply ban websites from the AdWords system instead, i.e. to automatically disable all ads pointing to those websites across all accounts, not the AdWords accounts themselves, if AdWords believes that a website doesn't meet its quality standards.

Wlauzon

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4290549 posted 9:18 pm on Apr 26, 2011 (gmt 0)

no, just go to bing/yahoo

Over the past few months we have reduced our Google ad spending about 10% and increased our Bing spending about 50%

Part was the increasing traffic we are getting from Bing, but part also was the sometimes totally nonsensical rejection of ads. The most ridiculous was last year when an ad was rejected for using the word ass - never mind that the actual word used was ASSUME.

zett

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4290549 posted 7:33 am on Apr 27, 2011 (gmt 0)

The most ridiculous was last year when an ad was rejected for using the word ass - never mind that the actual word used was ASSUME.


Reminds me of that old joke - "Never ASSUME, because it makes an ASS out of U and ME." Seems to be even more true when I hear stories like the one you experienced.

jecasc

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4290549 posted 8:18 am on Apr 27, 2011 (gmt 0)

I know that in many countries there is something called "obligation to contract" in anti trust law for companies with a certain market share. This means if companies have exceeded a certain threshold they are regareded as monopolies and are no longer free to choose if they close a contract with someone or not, but they are obliged to close a contract. And of course this also means they are not allowed to cancel a contract without a good reason. Good reason meaning there has to be a serious violation of TOS.

Does anybody know if there has been a case where someone has sued his way back into Adwords?

luke175

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4290549 posted 2:19 pm on Apr 27, 2011 (gmt 0)

Does anybody know if there has been a case where someone has sued his way back into Adwords?


The French Company NavX did. It seems the French are much more critical of Google's current position. [theregister.co.uk...]

I think what is really interesting is the promise they made to French regulators; you can see the full article here: [computerworld.com...]

"Google made formal undertakings to give advertisers three months notice of any policy changes affecting them, to provide clearer warnings if it planned to suspend the account of an Adwords user" Source: [computerworld.com...]


and...

The undertakings to improve warnings of policy changes and account suspensions are only legally binding on Google in its dealings with French advertisers...the company promised in discussions with the competition authority to apply the same principles to advertisers in all other product segments, in any country where Google operates the Adwords service -- promises the authority said in its 24-page ruling were "duly noted." Source: [computerworld.com...]


Do you think retroactive bans, small companies getting banned in 24 hours, no warning, no real chance of appeal, etc. etc. were what the French regulators had in mind when they let Google off the hook?

If I spoke French I would send them a letter detailing their failure to abide by the promise. If they face more scrutiny in any country it could make them more cautious in others.

I noticed that shortly after their "French incident" is when they started applying the phrase "Egregious" to pretty much any activity involving suspended accounts. I suppose they feel this gives them the right to circumvent their previous arrangements with impunity.

jecasc

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4290549 posted 9:41 pm on Apr 27, 2011 (gmt 0)

Normally you could have a good case. (At least if you were located in Europe) The alleged TOS violation is years old. Also it was very minor if it was a breach at all and it did not have any impact. And if you have a clean record since then, there is no reason at all for a cancellation of the contract.

If something like this would happen to me I would probably research the legal background a little more, check if an obligation to contract might exist, and instruct a lawyer to write a polite but firm letter threatening legal action and hope they would back off. Which is not that unlikely.

And if that would not help I would contact Anti-Trust authorities. (No you and your case are not too small for something like that, it's not your size that matters but that of your opponent.) I did that once when I had a problem with a supplier. I wrote a letter telling them of my problem and asked for a short assessment if they considered his actions illegal. I received a positive answer, forwarded it to the supplier and he backed of. (Actually this one letter has been of use three times now in similar disputes with other suppliers.) The good thing with getting public authorities involved is that it is usually free and most companies absolutely hate it.

In the past I have made the experience when I hit a wall inside another company it was only because the guy handling the case was a jerk and once I got attention on a higher level reason kicked back in. But as always with legal questions, laws are different from country to country and it is always the question how much time and money one is able and willing to spend.

Leosghost

WebmasterWorld Senior Member leosghost us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4290549 posted 10:37 pm on Apr 27, 2011 (gmt 0)

The French authority who dealt with the case is here
[autoritedelaconcurrence.fr...]

Their contact page is here

[autoritedelaconcurrence.fr...]

The French for email is "Mel"..next to it you will find the link to send your email to ..normal French proceedure requires you to send a recorded delivery or registered letter as a follow up before they will act on any communications.

If you scroll down to the bottom of any page on the site you'll find that they have an English version ( as is usual with French sites not all pages are translated ..but they do read and reply in English ..so you can contact them in English and also a Spanish version ( may be you read Spanish ? )..my advice is make it clear ..don't use obvious "Americanisms" or slang..but don't make it legalese ) ..They may be interested, they may not, but you don't need to be able to write French to ask them.

HTH

btw..Most senior civil servants, government officials etc in France speak, read and write extremely good English..and the senior staff of the search engines in all countries also are fine in English IME ..particularly Google and Yahoo..( MS I have only ever dealt with the non search part of the company here, and that was in French )..amusing thing is that with so many of them being based in Ireland, their English eventually takes on an Irish accent ..reminds me of home.:)

luke175

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4290549 posted 12:52 am on Apr 28, 2011 (gmt 0)

Thanks for that info.

I'm not sure if they would be interested in an American's complaints as they oversee French business, but I'm certainly considering contacting them to at least bring some attention to what's occurring. Google's official Adwords help forum contains an incredible amount of stories of people getting banned.

Do you happen to know if there is an English version of their final decision in the NavX case? (http://www.autoritedelaconcurrence.fr/pdf/avis/10d30.pdf)

This 35 message thread spans 2 pages: 35 ( [1] 2 > >
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